Shared ownership

What is Shared Ownership

Shared Ownership with Brighter Places is a great affordable way to get your foot on the property ladder even if you’re not able to buy your own property outright.  

Shared ownership enables you to purchase a share in a home, usually between 25-75% of the value of the property, and pay discounted rent to Brighter Places on the part you don’t own.  The larger share you own the lower the rental payments.

The minimum share for brand new leases is 10% (as from April 2021)

Buyers need to take out a mortgage to pay for their share of the home’s purchase price, or fund this through savings.

Shared Ownership properties are always leasehold.  

 

Do I qualify for shared ownership?

To be eligible for Shared Ownership, you must:

  • Be at least 18 years old
  • Earn less than £80,000 annual household income
  • Be unable to afford to buy a similar property that meets your needs on the open market
  • Have a deposit and funds ready to cover your mortgage and moving costs
  • Not currently own or have interest in another property, unless you are a current a shared owner and are looking to move
  • Not have any outstanding credit issues (i.e. unsatisfied defaults or county court judgments)
  • Have completed the application form on our website

What it costs

Before deciding whether shared ownership is for you, it’s important to think about the costs involved.

You will need to consider the initial costs and the ongoing costs.

Initial cost of shared ownership

  • A deposit – usually a minimum of 5% of the total share value you are buying
  • Reservation fee (new build properties only) – £500. This is deducted from the final sale value of your home on completion
  • Mortgage arrangement fee – charged by your mortgage lender
  • Valuation fee – paid to your mortgage lender. The is based on the purchase price of the property.
  • Your legal fees – such as  land registry fees
  • Stamp Duty (if applicable)
  • Removal costs
  • Carpets/flooring/curtains/blinds (where not included)

Ongoing costs of shared ownership

  • Shared ownership rent
  • Service Charge to Brighter Places (where applicable) – for services such as grounds maintenance or cleaning for communal spaces,  or electric costs if you’re buying an apartment in one of our managed blocks.
  • Contents insurance
  • Utilities
  • Council Tax
  • Repairs and maintenance to your property

Shared ownership calculator

How to apply

First of all take a look at the eligibility criteria above to find out if you qualify for shared ownership.

If you qualify you must register with us before you submit an application for one of our shared ownership homes.

Please complete the registration form providing all your relevant information.  

Once you are registered with us, you can submit an application form and apply for one of our shared ownership homes when they become available on the website.

Simply click the ‘Apply Now’ button under the property you’re interested in. Brighter Places prioritise applications on a first come, first served basis.

We add new properties from time to time, so keep checking our website to make sure you don’t miss any of our updates.

What happens next?

We need to go through several steps to review and confirm your application.

  • We will assess your eligibility for Shared Ownership and review your application. 
  • We will then contact you to confirm if your application is first in line and is being prioritised for assessment against your chosen plot.  We may tell you about an alternative plot if your first choice has already been reserved.
  • With your consent we will pass your completed application form to our Independent Financial Advisor. They will contact you directly to conduct your financial assessment. As part of this assessment, they will need financial information from you such as proof of employment, bank statements and your credit report, so please have these to hand for the financial assessment.
  • Please note that whilst your financial assessment must be carried out by our nominated Independent Financial Advisor, you are not obliged to take a mortgage through them.
  • Once your assessment is complete and our Independent Financial Advisor is satisfied with your affordability for the property, they will forward it to Brighter Places for final approval.
  • We will then contact you within three working days to let you know if your application has been successful. We appreciate that you will be waiting to hear from us, and we will work as quickly as we can. At busy times it may take up to five working days for us to complete the approval process.
  • Once we have confirmed your application, you will need to pay a £500 non-refundable deposit to formally reserve the property.

Your home is reserved

Once we receive your £500 deposit, we will send you a formal offer letter for your home and remove it from our website.

The offer letter will detail your next steps including instructions for solicitors and a guide to the conveyancing process.

Brighter Places will be here to help you every step of the way.

Shared Ownership - questions and answers

You may have lots of questions – we have the answers.  

You will need to pay various costs each month:

  • your monthly rent and service charge
  • your monthly mortgage payments based on the size of your mortgage and interest rates

Other costs you will be responsible for: 

  • all utility bills such as gas, electric and water rates.
  • council tax
  • contents insurance

You should include these costs in your monthly budget.

You will be responsible for all repairs and maintenance to your home. You will need to make sure that you allow a sufficient budget for the upkeep of your property.

Structural changes:

  • If you want to make any structural changes to your home you must get written confirmation from Brighter Places first.
  • You may also need approval from your mortgage lender, as well as any legal permissions e.g. planning permission, building regulations

Pets:

  • You will need our written consent if you want to keep a pet in the property
  • If you live in a house there are not usually any restrictions
  • If you live in an apartment that shares a communal area you are unlikely to be able to keep a pet

Your lease will include details for selling your property.  Leases vary, however normally you need to give Brighter Places eight weeks to find a buyer if you decide to sell your home.

If we cannot find a buyer within eight weeks, you can then sell your share on the open market with an estate agent.

Please contact us for details about what you need to do before you contact an estate agent to sell your home for you.

No.  The government contributes to affordable home ownership schemes so we have to control who benefit from them.

Also, if you have a mortgage on your home, your lender will probably be concerned if you let it to someone else.

In certain circumstances, we may give permission to sub-let a shared-ownership property. These are exceptional cases and only where there is a genuine and unavoidable need.

You can buy more shares (known as ‘staircasing’) at any time.

  • It is up to you how and when your buy additional shares, you can:
    • ‘partial staircase’ where you are buying more  shares in your home but not ready to staircase to 100% ownership.  This will reduce your rental payments but your other charges remain the same
    • ‘100% staircase’ or ‘final staircase’ where you buy all the remaining shares in your home
  • Usually you can buy 10% of additional shares in your home at any one time
  • In most cases you can ‘staircase’ to 100% ownership of your home. However some leases only allow a maximum of 80% ownership
  • Your shared ownership lease will detail the level of increments you can buy and if you can staircase to own 100% of your home or a maximum of 80%
  • Some local authorities restrict how much you can buy, especially in rural areas so share ownership homes are always available to local people. We will let you know about any restrictions before you buy additional shares in your home

If you decide to staircase to 100% the lease agreement between us will no longer exist and we will transfer the freehold title to you.  However if you have bought a flat from Brighter Places you will continue as a leaseholder.

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